The Hum of Angels by Scot McKnight
There is an ever-present commentary running through the lives of many we meet about angels. Whether it's guardian angels, our relationship to angels when we die, or some other inquiry about angelic beings, we are somewhat obsessed with these divine creations. Yet, we often have misguided and wrongheaded beliefs and thoughts about angels that give more credence to New Age thought than to a biblical picture of angels. In steps Professor Scot McKnight, who are written many books on the New Testament, Jesus, and the church. His new book, The Hum of Angels, presents an engaging portrait of angels in the Bible, and how every Christian should relate to these beings.
Scot opens his book with a foray into providing a rational or defense of belief in angels. Often, ordinary folks don't want to tell anyone they've seen an angel or had an angelic visitation because they might be thought of as stupid or ignorant. Scot writes, "Most people who experience angels don't tell anyone, or if they do, they tell only a person or two...The irony of our scientific age is that many people claim to have been visited by an angel in a hospital, and often enough it is a physician or nurse who reports the event." (6) The skepticism remains for many as to whether these purported angelic visits have any grain of truth, but many who generally would discount the supernatural are recording such events. Scot posits the real question for people not as, "Do you believe in angels?" but "Do you believe in God?" (7) The question hinges on belief in an invisible and bodiless God, then it would follow that belief in invisible and bodiless angels is not too hard to muster.
Scot brings out a remarkable point in the chapter on Angels Sent to Redeem that is worth noting. After looking at the Genesis narrative in which the angels guard Adam and Eve after being expelled from the garden, Scot writes, "God set up the cherubs to protect Adam and Eve from being locked eternally in a sinful condition. Instead, God became present in the angels. He prevented the first people he created, and by extension the rest of us, from returning to the tree. He does this so we can enjoy final redemption." (54) I hadn't even thought about the angels' protection of our first parents like this before, but the angels were in many ways protectors of God's covenant promise to the them.
This book is a refreshing and biblical perspective on angels and their work in all of our lives.
Thanks to Blogging for Books for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.